This Is My America Volume 1 - This Is My America

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An American concept album, This Is My America is a three-disc set of original material that captures the spirit of America and chronologically recounts its history over 64 tracks (38 songs and 26 spoken narratives). Fifty-six of America's finest award-winning singers and songwriters, including the Nashville Symphony and the Fisk Jubilee Singers, contribute to the set.

Much more than another collection of patriotic hits, this epic release provides unique insight into the story of America, as told through the original interpretations of the songwriters and performers.

"This Is My America is a musical journey through the history of the United States. It travels through the pages of time, telling stories in song about the significant events in American history."
- Douglas Hutton, Executive Producer

Track Listing:

1) Voices - Tim Ryan and the Nashville Symphony

2) Follow The Buffalo - Dwayne Ford

3) Saints And Strangers - Brendan Murphy

4) Bulletproof - Brice Long

5) Tea In The Sea - Troy Johnson

6) Paul Revere's Midnight Ride - Ron Wallace

7) Missouri - Tim Ryan, Sharon Vaughn and the Nashville Symphony

8) The Alamo - Barry Dean

9) Cherokee Rose - Roxie Dean

10) Gold In Them Hills - Gene Miller

11) Chimneyville - J Fred Knobloch

12) Biscuits And Wine - Matt Dame

13) As Soldiers Lie At Rest - Tim Buppert

Volume 1 Cut x Cut

"This song represents the first Americans, the bravest individuals starting a new life in a completely new world. Sharon researched the storyline, and I had to look no further than my upbringing for the sounds I wanted. My mother is Salish (Flathead) and I grew up in Montana on the Flathead Indian reservation with my family. I know the sounds of the Indian, having witnessed the songs and dances all my life. I wanted to be real and authentic to my Indian ancestry and the indigenous sounds I have listened to all these years. Sharon is a master of setting the stage with her lyrics. We both knew this song was going to be very special from the first moment of thought, but once we added Gordon Tootoosis' narration this song took on a new place in my life of writing. I am honored to have been involved in such a song as "Voices." It gives me chills with every listen." (Tim Ryan Rouillier)

"When the lyrics for "Follow The Buffalo" began taking shape, I realized that the music I had written was intensifying the emotional response to those lyrics. What exactly was that inspiration? I would have to say that it was the idea of a vanishing culture and the immense sadness that accompanies such historical events. Imagine a pristine wilderness populated by over 60 million buffalo, and an indigenous culture surviving in that wilderness, leaving virtually no environmental impact. Then imagine the systematic slaughter of the entire North American herd in an effort to "control" the indigenous people so that we could replace their paradigm with ours. Now look at where we are and tell me how much better off the world is. Hopefully, I captured the emotional sadness inherent in this distinctly "American" historical event." (Dwayne Ford)

"The story of the Mayflower was a fun and testy sort of journey. I knew I wanted a jig of some sort and it had to be playful with the hint of drink and laughter. Sharon Vaughn quickly set me in my place with the seriousness of the trip, the wicked sea, the fears and the voyagers risking their lives in a cramped ship, with the smells of the sea, rotted fish, fears, and death, but most of all..."A New Life." Thanks to our friend Brendan Murphy, we were able to capture all the elements." (Tim Ryan)

When Brian White, Karyn Williams and I had the opportunity to write a song about one of our "Founding Fathers," we wanted to write about George Washington. We researched and began with a little-known piece of history that used to be included in our history books and is no longer. The event was about 23-year old George Washington during the French and Indian War. The Indians labeled him "Bulletproof" during a battle near present-day Pittsburgh. They believed that Washington was protected during this battle by "The Great Spirit," and that he was destined to lead a mighty nation." (Lynn Wilbanks)

"When Steve and I took a look at some of the subjects being considered for This Is My America, the Boston Tea Party just jumped out at us. After dusting off our history books and diving in, we found out some pretty interesting things about our forefathers. They were definitely not the polite and quiet men they often appeared to be in pictures. Rather, they were very passionate, stubborn and very independent thinkers." (Victoria Venier)

"I wrote this song to pay homage to Paul Revere and all the heroes that made this country great. Heroes are being created at this very moment as soldiers fight and die in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the question is raised, 'Are these sacrifices any less heroic than what Paul Revere did in April of 1775?' Perhaps if enough people hear this song and think about what it means we might live our lives with a little more gratitude and a little less entitlement." (Dwayne Ford)

"I was raised in a prominent area of Lewis and Clark influence. When executive producer, Douglas Hutton, told me we still needed a song about these two important men, I called Sharon Vaughn, my co-writer. We both knew that the music had to take the listener on a great journey, as if we were on the trip with the great Corps Of Discovery to capture their awesome feats and accomplishments as they traveled into unknown territory. Sharon said, 'Let's make this a song from the Missouri River's point of view.' We wanted to paint the picture of what it must have been like to be on board one of the mighty keels, sailing into the sun to the Rocky Mountains, crossing the great divide and then stepping into the ocean. I hope we did." (Tim Ryan Rouillier)

"Ever since I was a little boy, I have always been fascinated by the Wild West. I used to sit for hours and watch Davy Crockett and Daniel Boone on TV. I have probably seen every movie that has been made about The Alamo. It's men like these that helped shape America into the greatest country on Earth." (David Wills)

"Wood Newton and I are both of Cherokee decent. When we learned that one of the songs for the project was to be about the forced removal of the Cherokee Indians from their homelands in the 1830s, we felt compelled to write a song about the hardships endured on their sad, long journey. It was believed that wherever one of their tears fell a beautiful white flower appeared - a "Cherokee Rose." The Cherokee called this trail "Nunna dual Tsuny," which translated means "The trail where they cried." Today we call it the Trail Of Tears." (Lynn Wilbanks)

"Being a native Southern Californian, I was raised in the "Golden State" with all of its Gold Rush imagery. This even includes a theme park where you can still pan for gold. Country music was my first influence, and The Grand Ole Opry was constantly on the Pack family TV. So this topic struck me immediately as an uptempo country song--from the perspective of a Carolina prospector--as though I was mining for gold in a song! I was going for that sort of "hopped up blind optimism" sort of feel in the lyrics and music, to give the listener a little bit of what Gold Rush Fever must have felt like." (David Pack)

"In 1863, during the height of the Civil War, the brutal campaign for Vicksburg, Miss. began. The Union soldiers were ordered to burn down the nearby town of Jackson. The destruction was so complete that almost all that remained were the chimneys of a few houses. My hometown became known at that time as Chimneyville. Each of the verses of this song is written from one of three different viewpoints-a Union Aide-de-Camp, who recounts the orders given to Sherman by Grant, a poor farmer's wife and her son on the outskirts of town on seeing the advancing Union forces, and a slave helping to evacuate his owner's family and their meager belongings up the Canton Road." (J Fred Knobloch)

"The seed for the song "Biscuits And Wine" was planted long before the song was written. Growing up in Nashville, I've always been surrounded by Civil War battlefield sites that, almost 150 years ago, would have been filled with thousands of soldiers, bullets, tents, campfires and smoke. The movie, "Cold Mountain," was a great part of the inspiration to write a song about those few precious moments that soldiers sometimes have right before going into battle. What do they think about? What do they do? I asked my co-writer, Bill Flowerree, if he would like to write the song with me. Both our great grandfathers served in the Civil War. We feel that even though the song is set during the Civil War Battle of Chickamauga, it is timeless, because sacrifice is something every soldier does in every war." (Lynn Wilbanks)

"After traveling to a considerable number of battleground sites and watching many TV specials about the hardships endured during the Civil War, I couldn't help but ponder the great cost and sacrifice made by so many soldiers and felt forever by their families and friends. I wondered about the young men whose shoes littered a muddy field in New Market, Virginia. I tried to imagine the many dinner tables with an empty chair at suppertime. I felt humbled, considering my freedom was brought about by another man's death. I am grateful-and troubled-that the opportunities and life I enjoy today are priceless... because soldiers lie at rest." (Bruce Carlson)

"I used to live in Memphis, and many times I would go downtown and just sit and watch the Mississippi roll on by. Throughout our history, the Mississippi River has played such an integral part of American life. They don't call it mighty for nothing." (David Wills)

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